Hearts On Fire
Dear Mr. Gold:
A Peruvian-born co-worker is jonesing for anticuchos, marinated and grilled beef heart. She has been to Peruvian restaurants all over the city but has yet to find the dish on the menu. Do you know of any place serving this?
Anticuchos, skewered bits of beef heart sizzled on charcoal braziers, is more or less the Peruvian national dish. The last time I was in Lima, there seemed to be three or four anticuchos carts on every block downtown, and the anticuchos were incredibly delicious, crusted black on the outside yet impossibly tender, dripping with juice — heart that tasted better than steak. I hear that Lima’s anticuchos carts recently have been superseded by American-style fast-food stands, but I pray that it is only a rumor. Decent skewers of anticuchos are much harder to find in Los Angeles, not least because of the difficulty of finding unfrozen beef heart, but they do exist. I suggest Pollos a la Brasa in Koreatown, a corner takeout joint better known for its impeccable Peruvian-style chicken, but with anticuchos always on the menu. 764 S. Western Ave., L.A., (213) 382-4090. Also at 16527 S. Vermont Ave., Gardena, (310) 715-2494.
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